Your Guide to Music Festivals That Aren’t Lollapalooza (2024)

Your Guide to Music Festivals That Aren’t Lollapalooza (1)

Forget marquee festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Electric Daisy Carnival, Ultra, Governors Ball, and even Burning Man. They share similar lineups and have become bloated, inaccessible, and extortionate, making attending more of a challenge than an unforgettable (in a good way) musical experience. Also grown beyond fun level are the world-famous Glastonbury (U.K.), Rock in Rio (Brazil), Tomorrowland (Belgium), and Fuji Rock Festival (Japan).

What’s more attractive is the boutique or destination festivals whose lineups read like you curated them yourself. Music Festival Wizard can help, trawling the entire globe to extract your dream lineup and destination.

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Your Guide to Music Festivals That Aren’t Lollapalooza (2)

California (Desert) Dreamin’

Thanks in part to Coachella becoming too expensive and impractical over the last few years, the Los Angeles-area festivals have multiplied, becoming hyper genre-fied in the process. There is Cruel World, BeachLife, Just Like Heaven, Ohana, HARD Summer, and the one that has everyone wondering if it’s a deep-fake with its mind-melting lineup, Fool in Love, featuring Lionel Richie, Diana Ross, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Al Green, Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Kool & the Gang, and Santana, among others.

The reliable incubator of future Coachella performers in their early raw days is Desert Daze. Held lakeside at Lake Perris about two hours east of L.A., the three-day festival comes in October, at the tail-end of the season. The underscoring energy of Desert Daze is psych rock, but there is so much more to absorb. Desert Daze culls artists from around the globe—it’s where I first heard Khruangbin, IDLES, King Gizzard, and the Lizard Wizard. It’s also where I saw Iggy Pop perform with such intensity I thought he might have a stroke, where Jarv Is… bantered the audience within an inch of their lives, and where My Bloody Valentine almost blew their stacks of speakers.

Non-EDM Dance Music in the Birthplace of Techno

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Detroit’s Movement, which takes place right in the Motor City’s downtown area at Hart Plaza on Memorial Day weekend. The electronic music festival has found the right home in the birthplace of techno and pays its respects accordingly. Movement is more about giving the original creators their due than it is jamming its lineups with predictable EDM schlager merchants. That’s not to say Movement is stuck in the past. On the contrary, it recognizes real-deal modern artists and slots them alongside their predecessor peers. Case in point, Fatboy Slim and Floating Points, Kevin Saunderson b2b Idris Elba, Ed Rush and Optical followed by the Martinez Brothers. The only drawback is not being able to be at every stage at the same time.

Your Guide to Music Festivals That Aren’t Lollapalooza (3)

Drinkers and Guitar Slingers in the Heartland

If you like guitars and you like whiskey—although that’s not a requirement—Kentucky is your destination in September for Bourbon and Beyond at Louisville’s Highland Festival Grounds. The festival’s whiskey tastings rival its smartly curated lineups, which this year feature a wide range, from Neil Young and Beck to Black Pumas and the Beach Boys. With most festival-goers a little sauced, this festival can’t help but become a relaxed and friendly social event that just happens to have 100 or so artists performing over its four-day stretch. If you’re looking for some branded musician alcohol or vittles, Bourbon and Beyond is likely the place to find it. Since you’re already in Kentucky, tack on a few days to your trip and return to the Highland Festival Grounds for the aptly titled Louder Than Life to have your head blown off by a stacked lineup of heavy rockers such as Slayer, Slipknot, Mötley Crüe, Mastodon, and Evanescence.

Hyped Crowds and Dream Lineups in CDMX

Over the border in Mexico City, Corona Capital kicks off Thanksgiving week with lineups that grow increasingly more impressive every year. Embedded in its title is this festival’s sponsor, whose deep pockets bring artists like the Cure, Blur, Pet Shop Boys, the Chemical Brothers, Pulp, Arcade Fire, and the Black Keys together in one weekend. As Noel Gallagher told me at the festival’s 2023 edition, when he saw the lineup, he said yes to the booking just so he could check out the other artists on the bill. Once an artist plays Corona Capital, it’s guaranteed they’re going to return as the reception is extremely gratifying. Vibrant Mexican festival-goers come out in droves to this event, which takes place right in the heart of the capital city. You can take a $10 rideshare to and from the festival, or, jump on the Metro that stops just outside its grounds. The number of international attendees is growing exponentially. The 2024 lineup is not announced yet, but if history tells us anything, it’s going to be a doozy.

Your Guide to Music Festivals That Aren’t Lollapalooza (4)

From La Rambla Across the Pacific

Across the pond, Primavera Sound kicks off the European festival season with its flagship event in Barcelona the last weekend in May with headliners Pulp, Justice, Lana del Rey, Disclosure, the National, PJ Harvey, Mitski, and more. Taking place right on the seafront at the edge of the city’s tourist thoroughfare, La Rambla, it’s a whole city takeover with music and cultural programming for the entire week. The festival also has a music conference that has a built-in audience with industry folks in town for Primavera. If you can’t make that particular edition, Primavera also happens the following weekend in Porto, Portugal. The much-loved festival, which made its name because of its tasteful and gender-balanced curation, takes its brand to South America during the southern hemisphere’s spring months, with stops in Buenos Aires, Argentina, São Paolo, Brazil, Asunción, Paraguay, and Montevideo, Uruguay.

Family-Friendly Fêtes

Croatia arguably has the most festivals of the European summer with back-to-back, and sometimes overlapping, electronic music events, beginning as early as May and going through to September. The country’s stunning Game of Thrones-worthy setting on the Adriatic Sea, with multiple plum locations, is a big draw for music lovers who want to forget their troubles in the sparkling sun. On the flip side is the U.K. countryside, which rivals Croatia in number of festivals, both large and boutique. Mucky Weekender, which takes place on Vicarage Farm in Winchester, just outside of London on the first weekend of September, is a pocket-sized, grown-up dance music festival with outsized good vibes. The brainchild of Barry Ashworth of longtime party starters Dub Pistols, the 6,000-capacity, family-friendly festival doesn’t plan on getting any larger. As Ashworth says, “We are fiercely independent, and it’s a unique vibe created by the feeling that we are all one big family that makes Mucky so special to all those who attend.”

To see our running list of the top 100 greatest rock stars of all time, click here.

Your Guide to Music Festivals That Aren’t Lollapalooza (2024)


What is the largest free music festival in the US? ›

Musikfest, an eleven-day outdoor music festival held annually each August in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is the largest free music festival in the United States, drawing over 1.3 million attendees.

How do you survive a 3 day festival? ›

Follow these five tips and be in with a better chance of seeing them all.
  1. Pace yourself. The best thing about a festival is the fact the music starts early and goes on until late, or in some cases, just doesn't stop. ...
  2. Drink lots of water. ...
  3. Stay charged. ...
  4. Enjoy the food. ...
  5. Give yourself time to recover.

What do you need for a music festival? ›

Sunscreen, hats and sunglasses are the most obvious items to check off your list — but there are plenty of other items (such as a first aid kit or a powerful phone charger) that might come in handy as you're traversing football field-length grounds and dusty or muddy terrain.

Where is Lollapalooza? ›

Where is Lollapalooza 2024 being held? Lollapalooza 2024 is being held at Chicago's Grant Park in the United States and will feature artist performances that include the likes of Galantis, Fisher, Zedd, Two Door Cinema Club, Future and Metro Boomin, Stray Kids, Skrillex, and more.

Which is bigger Coachella and Lollapalooza? ›

Coachella took the top spot. This year's Lollapalooza runs from Aug. 3-6 in Grant Park. Headliners include Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar, Odesza, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Is Lollapalooza bigger than Rolling Loud? ›

As of now, it seems as though Rolling Loud is taking the lead over Lollapalooza. Rolling Loud was able to sell out their tickets in just about four days.

Do you lose weight at a festival? ›

The most fun part of being at a festival doubles up as one of the best ways to burn fat and tone muscle. But fear not if you're less co-ordinated than Ann Widdecombe - moshing arguably requires the least amount of skill, but it uses a ton of energy; there are between 400-750 calories burned moshing, so get in that pit!

How do you survive a music festival alone? ›

Don't dwell on having a great time or a bad time. Just do things with your time, and look back on it later. Explore the venue, follow the music (why you're there), compliment a stranger, and treat yourself to some nice food. Be kind to you!

Can you sleep at a festival? ›

It can be tricky to sleep comfortably while camping at a festival, but all is not lost. With a comfortable sleeping mat, cozy clothes, earplugs and a sleeping mask, you can increase your chances of getting a good night's sleep.

How much money do you need for a music festival? ›

Small local gatherings may have budgets starting at a few thousand dollars, while large-scale, multi-day festivals can run into the millions. For instance, a small community fair might cost around $5,000 to $20,000, whereas a large music festival with top-tier artists could have a budget exceeding $1 million.

How much money do you spend at a music festival? ›

According to research, the average cost of the tickets are already $200 to $600 . Also, according to statistics taken in 2017, the average spendings for one person attending an American music festival is around $693, making it the most expensive compared to other countries.

How do you have fun at a music festival? ›

Music festival entertainment ideas
  1. Lawn games. Lawn games are a classic favorite, especially for a summertime event. ...
  2. Food. Food tents are a must, but why stop at cheeseburgers and hot dogs? ...
  3. Face painting. ...
  4. Arcade tent. ...
  5. Volunteer opportunities. ...
  6. Live demonstrations. ...
  7. Artists. ...
  8. Trivia.

Is Lollapalooza kid friendly? ›

Kids under 10 years are free and at the time, Mila was 6 months and Noah was 3 years old. There is a big Kidzapalooza area, which is family-friendly with lots to do. There's a big kid's area with a kid's stage, performers, instruments, etc.

How expensive is Lollapalooza? ›

The price for a four-day General Admission pass starts at $385. Four-day GA+ tickets, which include access to private lounges, air-conditioned bathrooms, expedited entry and more, start at $715.

Who is going to Lollapalooza in 2024? ›

Tyler, the Creator and fellow headliner Hozier are slated to kick off Lollapalooza 2024 on Thursday, Aug. 1. Other acts hitting the stage include Kesha, Labrinth, Tyla and Flo.

What is the biggest music festival in the USA? ›

Statistics About The Biggest Music Festivals In The Us
  • Coachella is the biggest music festival in the US, attracting over 100,000 attendees per day in 2019.
  • In 2019, Stagecoach country music festival was attended by over 70,000 people per day.
Feb 14, 2024

What is the largest free outdoor music festival? ›

Musikfest – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

It's the largest, non-gated, free music festival in the U.S., with an incredible estimated attendance of over 1 million.

What is the world's largest free concert? ›

The Rod Stewart New Year's Eve concert in Rio de Janeiro, 1994, holds the Guinness World Record for the largest concert attendance. The free concert which took place on the Copacabana Beach attracted an estimated crowd of 3.5 million people!

Which music festival has the highest attendance? ›

1. Donauinselfest. Vienna has long been home to musical geniuses, with luminaries such as Mozart being previous residents, so it's no surprise it's now home to the biggest festival in the world. Held on an island in the middle of the Danube River, Donauinselfest attracted a whopping 3.1 million people in 2016.

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